The Glorious Revolution of 1688, a continuation of the English civil war, is one of the most spectacular events in history. Prior to the Glorious Revolution, England reinstated the monarchy with Charles II in hopes of ending the civil war. However, several events checked the renewed monarchy and eventually caused the revolution: the popish plot, James II’s son, and the revocation of the Edict of Nantes.
Charles II was brought to the throne towards the end of the civil war. While secretly Catholic, he openly embraced Anglicanism. In conjunction with his Catholic tendencies, Charles II conspired with Louis XIV to restore Catholicism in England and return English power to the pope. Louis would provide the money. However, the popish plot actually revolved around suspicions that Jesuits would kill Charles for not being Catholic enough. England was furious when everything came to light.
James II came to power but was opposed by Parliament because he was Catholic. When James II had a son, Parliament grew more concerned because the son would be Catholic too. They did not want an absolute Catholic monarch ruling England, as was the trend in other European nations.
Another factor that decided the mind of Parliament was the revocation of the Edict of Nantes by Louis XIV. The revocation showed the power of a monarch over religious issues. England was scared of being Catholic again. Parliament united and brought in Protestant William and Mary from the Netherlands to rule England. James II was exiled. England passed a law stating that all future kings must be Anglican. William revoked part of the Clarendon Code by allowing nonconformist Protestants to worship.
While some people did die, the Glorious Revolution was mostly bloodless. It paved the way for England’s rich Christian heritage and vast missionary exploration. England remained a stronghold of Christianity in a very Catholic-dominated Europe.
– Hannah S. Bowers